German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks to U.S. President Donald Trump during the second day of the G7 meeting, Quebec, Canada, June 9, 2018.
Jesco Denzel / Bundesregierung via Reuters

The new U.S. ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, is quickly becoming Europe’s favorite bête noire. He seems to share his boss’ uncanny ability to offend people with a potent combination of professional incompetence and personal arrogance. Within hours of taking up his post in early May, he had tweeted out a demand that Europeans disinvest from Iran, essentially commanding his hosts to heed President Donald Trump’s decision to end the Iranian nuclear deal. Then last week, he gave an interview with Breitbart, a right-wing website that operates in both Europe and the United States, announcing his intention to “empower” conservative parties within Europe. The message to the German government was clear: the new U.S. ambassador intended to back its domestic political opponents. 

In combination with a disastrously divisive G-7 meeting last week, these remarks have rekindled fears in Europe that the Trump administration will seek

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